Vol. 173 No. #2
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More Stories from the January 12, 2008 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Smoking ups risk for type 2 diabetes

    Smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 61 percent.

  2. Animals

    Purring birds teach their chicks to beg

    African birds called pied babblers teach their chicks that certain parental noises mean food is on the way.

  3. Paleontology

    The warm jungles of ancient France

    Chemical analyses of amber excavated near Paris suggest that France was covered with a dense tropical forest about 55 million years ago.

  4. Foster care benefits abandoned kids

    Orphan infants living in Romanian institutions who were randomly assigned to receive foster care showed marked improvements in thinking and reasoning skills by age 4-1/2, compared with their peers who remained institutionalized.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Down syndrome’s anti-tumor effect

    The chromosomal abnormality that causes Down syndrome might protect against some solid tumors.

  6. Tech

    Energy forest

    Silicon nanowires can at least double the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Risky DNA: Autism studies yield fresh genetic leads

    Two new studies point to the diverse genetic roots of autism and related developmental disorders, while other evidence questions the claim that mercury-based childhood vaccines have contributed to rising autism rates.

  8. Earth

    Hued Afterglow: Fingerprinting diamonds via phosphorescence

    The eerie phosphorescence displayed by a rare form of blue diamond can be used as an easy, cheap, and nondestructive way to identify individual gemstones and to distinguish natural blue diamonds from synthetic ones.

  9. Mind Control: Hypnosis offers amnesia clues

    Results of a new study using hypnosis may shed light on the process of memory retrieval and the potential for one part of the brain to block it.

  10. Astronomy

    Heavy Find: Weighty neutron stars may rule out exotic core

    Neutron stars may be the weirdest stars in the universe, but they don't seem to be very strange, a weighty new report finds.

  11. Seeing Again: Blind fish parents have fry that see

    Cross two strains of blind cavefish that have lived in the dark for a million years, and some of their offspring will be able to see.

  12. Positive Signal: Lone protons carry messages between cells

    In roundworms, protons carry signals from cells in the intestine to muscle cells, raising the possibility that protons might act as neurotransmitters in mammal brains.

  13. Physics

    Bathtub Optics: Bending light also shifts it sideways

    When light bends at an interface, it also shifts depending on its polarization. With animation.

  14. Archaeology

    La Brea del Sur

    Excavations at tar pits in Venezuela suggest that the fossils found there may rival those of the famed Rancho La Brea tar pits in Southern California.

  15. Life from Scratch

    Conjuring life in the lab from nothing but nonliving molecules may sound far-fetched, but the first synthetic life forms may soon be a reality.

  16. Humans

    Letters from the January 12, 2008, issue of Science News

    Shades of meaning In “Going Coastal: Sea cave yields ancient signs of modern behavior” (SN: 10/20/07, p. 243), researcher Curtis Marean refers to Stone Age people using a reddish pigment for “body coloring or other symbolic acts.” What reason is there for jumping to this conclusion? As with cave painting and figurines, there seems to […]